Bridging the Gap: A Conversation with Bertha Anderson

As the Chief of Public Engagement for the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Bertha Anderson offers insight into her office's work, its relationship to USCIS, and its current priorities.
"I am an immigrant, and I enjoy being able to give back to the community by disseminating relevant and timely information," says Bertha Anderson.
Elizabeth Hendley

Part of NAFSA’s work involves liaising with government agencies on behalf of advisers who facilitate the goals of international educational exchange while ensuring institutional and individual compliance with applicable laws and government policies. Many international educators in the United States who are responsible for this work on their campus are familiar with the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman).

NAFSA staff and member volunteers work regularly with Bertha Anderson, who is the Chief of Public Engagement for the CIS Ombudsman’s office. Anderson spoke with International Educator about the mission of the CIS Ombudsman, how the office works with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and her office’s policy priorities. She also shares about her own journey and experience in international education, what she enjoys most about her job, and what to expect from the CIS Ombudsman’s office this year.


Listen to this interview on the January 2022 episode of the International Educator podcast

Can you provide an overview of the CIS Ombudsman’s mission and work?

I would be happy to, thanks for asking. The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman acts as a liaison between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the public on certain immigration matters.

Bertha Anderson headshot
Bertha Anderson

Our mission is to:

  • assist individuals and employers in resolving problems experienced when seeking immigration benefits (such as Green Cards, citizenship, or work authorization) from USCIS;
  • identify and analyze trends and areas where people have problems dealing with USCIS; and
  • recommend changes

Subscribe now to read full article

Already a NAFSA member or subscriber? Log in.